Following last year’s habit, I applied for an early show this year too. It was a strange timing with an only show today, that starts from 15:00. It’s actually a very good time given that you can have proper meals before and after dinner compared to the usual 13:00 or 18:00 shows. I read on Twitter that there are fans calling this timing the “3pm snack time show” (3時のおやつ）LOL
Arriving at a little past 14:00, there were already crowds moving into the theatre. I did my usual rounds to take a few photos for memory’s sake.
New Rival – Tatsuya!
Those interested in the line up of Act 1 and 2, you can refer to my previous post for 2019 show, since I don’t think they change much this year. But the biggest change will, of course, be the new rival of Koichi – Tatsuya Ueda (KAT-TUN). It was really a refreshing interpretation of this role and I’m very impressed that he managed to override the image of this role that is, by now, so characterised by Yara’s interpretation.
“Ah Beng” style
Overall, Tatsuya portrays a very “yanki” style which basically refers to the juvenile delinquents, or in a Singaporean context, Tatsuya behaves like an “ah beng” throughout the show with his gestures and communication style. If we find Yara has this extreme inferior complex for his role, then you won’t really see this in Tatsuya.
A more “casual” Rika
I guess because of the change of acting from Tatsuya, Rika also made some significant changes to her acting as well, to match the level of Tatsuya. She didn’t go to the extent of being an “Ah Lian” but definitely she was appearing more “casual” yet taking on more initiative to lead instead of the usual girly “I can only follow Koichi…” type.
Tatsuya x Matsuzaki
Probably one of the more interesting lookouts for me this year is to observe the interaction between Tatsuya and Matsuzaki (4U). Following the storyline that no matter what happens, Koichi wanted Matsuzaki to stay by Tatsuya’s side, we can see that they created this special “love-and-hate” friendship between these two.
It started from the beginning at the backstage, where Tatsuya made a comment saying that he’s late for some cooking class, and he’s going to “cook” Matsuzaki today. And then at the rooftop scene, Matsuzaki was making suggestions to Tatsuya to get closer to Rika and when Tatsuya failed, he was “kicking” Matsuzaki. And before they moved to the New York scenes where the company arranged to watch some musicals together, Matsuzaki was holding hands with Rika and asking her if she likes hamburger and happily walking off with Tatsuya shouting behind them that he will “stew” Matsuzaki…
Upgraded music arrangement
I think they really upgraded the music arrangement with the 19-member live orchestra/band this year. We already know that they did that from last year, but I think it matches the mood, even more, this year.
Changes in some scenes and lines
I think they had some big changes in Act 2 especially for Shakespeare Theatre, which is a continuation from last year as well. I would say it is definitely far more connected to reality and easier to understand for first-timers.
During the scene of Japanesque battle, there was a part where Koichi and Tatsuya are supposed to fight each other, but somehow Tatsuya lost the grip of his sword and had to continue fighting with his bare hands. I thought it looks a little strange but well Show Must Go On right? So they did overcome this part pretty naturally.
There was also a scene in the Shakespeare Theatre where Tatsuya had to draw his dagger and give it to Rika but somehow the dagger didn’t get pulled out in the first move, and so Tatsuya had to quickly pull again to get it out.
In the MUGEN part, where Koichi and Tatsuya did their duet dance with the Japanese drums in the background, there was also a slight delay on Tatsuya’s part that didn’t match with the lighting/sounds, but it was still negligible as they managed to end off this part and moved to the drums later.
It was a really good show, and there were many fans tearing up at the confession scene, not sure if it’s really crying or it’s from the cold or hay fever… 😛 But I think Tatsuya really brought a whole new act to this show and it definitely has some interesting chemistry with Koichi and the company.
Special event at Hibiya
There is a special event at Hibiya Chanter which coincides with the same schedule of Endless SHOCK performances at Imperial Theatre. Since it’s in the vicinity, we went over to take a look at what’s going on.
News article panels
They put panels of news articles from 2000 where it all started from “Millenium SHOCK” to the current Endless SHOCK. So nostalgic to see the cast from the past, some of them have already left Johnny’s Jimusho…
Interesting “SHOCK” related menu
They did some collaboration with the restaurants at B2 as well, coming up with funny SHOCK related names for the dishes.
They place a huge message board with some paper and pen for fans to write their messages and paste it on the board. It was so full that I think those who wrote earlier already had their messages covered. Today (12th Feb) was the last day they are putting up with this board, so I took the chance to write a quick message too!
If you happen to be going for the show this year, do drop by this event space and have a look at the history of SHOCK, and admire how young and handsome Koichi was 20 years ago, and still handsome though slightly older now. 😀
HUGE THANK YOU TO THE 2020 COMPANY!!!
Koichi made a comment that one of the G-rocket ladies was injured and another lady had to replace her. She was standing on stage today with almost no rehearsal. I wish everyone good luck to finish the rest of the shows till the end of March, and please take good care and enjoy the day off tomorrow!